Someone finally gets Colbert right.

And, more importantly, gets liberals’ reactions to the coverage of Colbert’s performance right. It is, of all people, Doug Elfman, a television critic for the Chicago Sun-Times.

How did Bush tickle reporters? He made fun of the fact that he can barely speak English (he is quite simply the worst communicator of all U.S. presidents), that our vice president is a heartless face-shooter, and that Bush is basically an idiot.

Ha ha, our "war president" knows he's a village idiot? To members of the White House press corps, that's some real funny stuff. To non-insiders, this looked like another example of good old boys and gals slapping each other on the back.

Colbert's routine was more remarkable for its unique and creative brazenness. He joked that Bush's presidency is like the Hindenburg; that Bush's wiretappers were monitoring this very event, and that the White House press corps, sitting in front of Colbert, gave Bush a free pass, scandal after scandal, until recently (when his polls numbers dropped).

How's this for a newsworthy lead? It was perhaps the first time in Bush's tenure that the president was forced to sit and listen to any American cite the litany of criminal and corruption allegations that have piled up against his administration.
Spot-on. Absolutely spot-fucking-on. But what member of the press, except for perhaps Helen Thomas, could write that lead without shouldering some of the blame for leaving Bush snuggly protected inside his precious bubble? And that’s the real story, which, of course, the press refuses to write. They don’t just admire Bush; they’ve aped his shtick—staying the course, eschewing accountability, and refusing to apologize for their own failures. It’s oh so much easier to cast liberals as crazy-rabid-irrational, so much easier to write about imaginary reasons for their anger, or pretend there aren’t any and it’s all just so much delusional madness. As Toast said in comments, “They simply cannot get past the fact that we're pissed off and address the bill of specifics that has us so pissed off.” Exactly right.

Elfman goes on to critique the conservativization of the news, noting, “To liberals, this must be somewhat puzzling, since the rest of the conservative media primarily sides with a president whose approval ratings stand at 32 percent, a whisker better than Nixon's before he resigned in disgrace.” Too true. At least, it used to be puzzling. Now it’s all too easy to see why refuse to deviate from their sorry tale—they were wrong; wrong about Bush, wrong about Iraq, wrong to indulge “the most powerfully staged photo ops in the world,” wrong to shill at every turn for an administration that’s bad bad bad for America. And we—the raging, frothing, mad-haired loonies—were right.

(Thanks to Shaker Constant Comment for passing along the article.)

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